Torta di Maccheroni

Today’s goal was to use up some odds and ends to make a frugal, but tasty and nourishing dish.  The result was an Italian style baked macaroni and cheese, torta di maccheroni..

For 2 servings

1 1/2 cups grated cheeses
1 1/2 cups quinoa or spelt macaroni
2 small cipolline onions (substitute yellow onion), sliced
1/4 cup dried wild porcini mushrooms, re-hydrated and chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pastured egg yolk
1 cup fresh whole milk
1/2 cup fresh cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 oz dry white wine
Italian parsley

1 or 2 small, ripe tomatoes, quartered
Fresh basil (optional)
Sprouted crackers, crushed (optional)
Pastured butter

Warm the milk and cream together in a small pan over medium low heat until it begins to form a skin over the top.  Do not let it boil.

Meanwhile, boil and drain macaroni according to package instructions.  Set aside.

Whisk cheese into hot milk a little at a time, until melted and smooth.  The resulting sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the garlic, onions, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, stir and turn off heat.

Once the cheese sauce has cooled a bit, whisk in 1 large egg yolk and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce, then put into a buttered dish.

Sprinkle a little more cheese over the top, drizzle with white wine and garnish with quartered tomatoes and crushed crackers, if using.

Bake in a 400 degree until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet

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Cannellini Soup with Grilled Ficelle (favorite)

Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained. Chicken stock, olive oil, cream, cipolline onions, garlic, pepper, sea salt, Italian herbs, rubbed sage and mult-grain ficelle.

Saute the onions and garlic until they begin to brown, then add the sage and cook another minute.

Add the beans and chicken stock, reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, then add the cream, salt and pepper and a little butter. I’ve added a chiffonade of red chard for color.

Grill the bread with olive oil and Italian herbs, whisk the soup and enjoy!

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